Member Biography

William Hiester Jr.


Portrait: “William Hiester,” Lancaster County Historical Society Journal, V. 69, 1965, p. 79: The portrait is otherwise identified as John Wilkes Kittera, attorney and Congressman from Lancaster County.

Sessions Office Position District Party
1841       6 Whig
1842     Speaker 6 Whig
1843       6 Whig

COUNTIES: York, Lancaster  


10/10/1790 - 10/13/1853

William Hiester, Jr. (Whig6) Lancaster and York Counties 1841-1843

Early Life:

William Hiester, Jr., born October 10, 1790, Berne Township, Berks County, Pennsylvania, son of William Hiester, Sr. and Anna Maria Myer; common school education; engaged, farming, merchandising; married, Lucy Ellmaker Hiester, 1821, son, Isaac Ellmaker Hiester; Lancaster County Justice of the Peace, 1823-1828; unsuccessful Congressional Campaign, Anti-Masonic Convention, 1828; elected, Secretary, State Caucus, Anti-Masonic Convention, 1828; elected, Anti-Masonic, United States House of Representatives, 1831-1837; delegate, Pennsylvania State Constitutional Convention, 1837; elected, Whig, Pennsylvania State Senate, 1841-1843, elected, Speaker, Pennsylvania State Senate, 1842; engaged, agricultural pursuits 1843-1853; died, October 13, 1853 (aged 63, 3 days) New Holland, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania; interment, Lancaster Cemetery, Lancaster, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

Early Career:

Lieutenant, Pennsylvania Militia, War of 1812. 

Pennsylvania Politics:

Lancaster County Justice of the Peace, 1823-1828. 

Unsuccessful Congressional Campaign, Anti-Masonic Convention; James Buchanan, elected, 1828. 

Elected, Secretary, State Caucus, Anti-Masonic Convention, 1828.

Delegate, Pennsylvania State Constitutional Convention, 1837-1838.

Elected, Whig, Pennsylvania State Senate, 6th District, Lancaster and York Counties, 1841-1843; elected, Speaker Pennsylvania State Senate, 35th ballot, July 26, 1842; advocated the only legislative pay decrease in upper house history, following the state’s dramatically declining economy in the early 1840s. Chairman, Agriculture and Manufacturing Committee. 

Continued Government Service/National Politics:

Elected, Anti-Masonic, United States House of Representatives, Twenty-second, Twenty-third and Twenty-fourth Congresses, 1831-1837. 


A member of the notable Hiester-Muhlenberg-Clymer-Ellmaker political families. 

Nephew, Hiester Clymer, Pennsylvania State Senate, 6th district, Berks County 1861-1864, 8th district, 1865-1866; United States Congressman, 1873-1881.

Hiester Clymer  - Pennsylvania Senate Library (

Son, Congressman Isaac Ellmaker Hiester, United States House of Representatives, Thirty-third Congress, 1853-1855.

Uncle, Congressman, John Hiester,United States House of Representatives, Tenth Congress, 1807-1809.

Nephew, Daniel Hiester, renowned Revolutionary War officer, United States House of Representatives,  first six United States Congresses, representing Pennsylvania and Maryland.


Cox, Harold. "Senate Members H"Wilkes University Election Statistics Project. Wilkes University.

Biographical Encyclopedia of Pennsylvania, ed. Charles Robson (Philadelphia: Galaxy Publishing Co., 1894), 333

William Hiester (1790-1853) - Find a Grave Memorial


Congressional Biography

After 3 session(s) serving in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, William Hiester Jr. went on to serve in congress